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CFD modeling for the prediction of molecular weight distribution in the LDPE autoclave reactor: Effects of non-ideal mixing

Title
CFD modeling for the prediction of molecular weight distribution in the LDPE autoclave reactor: Effects of non-ideal mixing
Authors
Shin S.Choi S.Na J.Jung I.Kim M.-K.Park M.-J.Lee W.B.
Ewha Authors
나종걸
SCOPUS Author ID
나종걸scopus
Issue Date
2022
Journal Title
Chemical Engineering Journal
ISSN
1385-8947JCR Link
Citation
Chemical Engineering Journal vol. 427
Keywords
AutoclaveBimodalityCFDMWDNon-ideal mixing
Publisher
Elsevier B.V.
Indexed
SCIE; SCOPUS scopus
Document Type
Article
Abstract
A commercial Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) reactor was modeled to investigate the effects of highly nonlinear hydrodynamics in an industrial-scale autoclave reactor on the polymer Molecular weight distribution (MWD). To reduce the extremely high computational burden of Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) runs and detailed MWD calculations, a combination of the CFD multicompartment model and probability generating function transformation is proposed. The validity of the proposed model was verified by a comparison with experimental data on industrial equipment. The computation time was shown to be only 37% of the actual operation time. The proposed model showed that strong downflow and weak reverse-flow coexisted to form circulation flow between the disks in the autoclave. Polymerization mainly occurred in the strong downflow region of the tubular regime. The circulation flow increased the accumulation of dead polymers to enhance the chain transfer to polymer, which produces long-branched living polymer chains and termination by recombination for a broad MWD with bimodality. Further analysis based on the simulation without the circulation flow showed a narrow MWD and no bimodality. These results indicate that the flow pattern must be properly controlled to produce polymers with desired properties in large-scale polymerization reactors. © 2021 Elsevier B.V.
DOI
10.1016/j.cej.2021.131829
Appears in Collections:
엘텍공과대학 > 화학신소재공학전공 > Journal papers
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